P!nk returns with a touching vulnerability on her mature-sounding seventh (!?!) album, Beautiful Trauma.
Can you believe that the U.S singer has been around, releasing hit after hit for the last 17 years!? She has constantly and consistently released amazing albums and cemented her place as a pop/music legend, even earning the prestigious Michael Jackson Vanguard Award at this years VMAs.
But, now, after 16 years (her first year was dedicated to slick R&B beats) of delivering crowd-pleasing rock-pop hits, it seems as though P!nk is ready to show a different, a more mature side of her – well, mostly.
The album opens with the most ‘P!nk’ song on the record, the title track, “Beautiful Trauma,” it has the rock-pop elements and ballsy attitude that we’ve come to expect from her, opening with “I slashed your tires” – what else would we want P!nk to open the album with?!
The second track, “Revenge,” the second single from the album is an awkward one, on one hand, it’s great, the chemistry between P!nk and Eminem is like fire, the attitude we have come to expect from both of them is there – but it just doesn’t connect. Is it the prolonged P!nk rap? Is it Eminem’s cringy repetition of the word ‘whore’? We’re not sure, but somewhere along the line, it doesn’t come together.
But that’s really where the idea that we thought P!nk was an artist ends, largely gone is the sassy and fierce star, and in her place is a singer that’s full of pain, fear and vulnerability – a side that we rarely see.
Lead single, “What About Us,” on the surface sounds like it’s referencing a failing relationship, but on deeper inspection of the song and it’s visual shows that P!nk is making a political reference over a moody dance-pop ballad production which is the first taste of a more mature-pop leaning artist.
That sound carries through onto “Where We Go,” a rousing synth-laden guitar-led song that shows her fear of being alone and even on the almost house-style song, “Secret” – but then the album gets a whole lot deeper and more emotional.
A key feature in any P!nk album is the pain in love, but on Beautiful Trauma, there’s never been more pain put behind them.
“But We Lost It” is the first ballad on the album, and the track is a classic P!nk ballad, a simple piano, an amazing vocal performance, discussing a relationship that has lost the spark they once had. While “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” states in its opening line; “There’s rage and terror and there’s sickness here” before going on to proclaim, “this is my rally cry, I fight because I have to” – all while P!nk’s voice soars over a flawless, classic-esque building production.
There are other themes on the album though, most notably the fear of growing up and adulthood on “Barbies,” an acoustic country ballad where she wants to go back to playing with her Barbie dolls; “I wish I could go back to playing babies in my room, they never say that you have to grow up.”
A true highlight is P!nk’s speciality, the album closer, in this case, it’s the jazz vibed piano ballad that is, “You Get My Love,” a track that P!nk raws over (vocals please?!) and goes on to discuss her watching over her sleeping partner, waiting for him to wake up so she can confess to a sin, and hoping that while he won’t trust her again, can he at least trust that she loves him dearly.
This album is considerably less single packed than her previous, The Truth About Love, but that’s okay, look at Beyoncé, Gaga and Katy Perry’s latest offerings.
In a world where the already established female pop acts are becoming the legends and not breaking the singles charts like they used to, it’s nice to see the usual underdog not flying under the radar for once – this time, all eyes are deservedly on her, and she performs (almost) seamlessly.
Welcome back P!nk.
Check out the album below and let us know what you think in the comments!